IGN spoke with Esposito ahead of the announcement to discuss Anton’s motives, his layered characterization, and a bit more about the fictional island nation at the heart of Far Cry 6.
“His father was a dictator before him and he wants to empower the people to take their country back. His goal is to use the resources that they have within the country to survive without allowing outsiders to come in and co-opt their scientists, their intellectual property, all of these things,” Esposito said, noting that Anton was “born with a silver spoon in his mouth.”
And Anton is, well, grappling with quite a bit as Esposito explained:
“He really means good, but he’s in a world that’s moving progressively forward faster than he is. And he has to find the assets that his people have to be able to exploit those assets and allow his people to believe in him, all this in the midst of a civil revolution that’s happening in his country by several different factions that he’s got to put down…and he’s trying to raise a son.”
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That relationship with his son, who we also see in the Far Cry 6 reveal trailer, is key to the humanity Esposito sees in Anton. His son is played by Anthony Gonzalez, who starred as Miguel in Pixar’s Coco.
“His relationship [with his son] is he’s impatient. His son isn’t as grown as he wants him to be,” he said. “He wants him to grow up faster, he wants to give him the skills and empower him to know that he has the power over life and death. Very difficult thing for a young man, just going through puberty to get wrapped around. How do you turn your back on being youthful and grow up quickly to be groomed, to take over a small island nation?”
Esposito, who said he believed the game was set in present day, explained how Winston Churchill actually inspired the way he portrayed Anton, as a dictator ruling over a paradise that doesn’t really know how to make full use of what it offers.
“It makes me think of Winston Churchill when he went to Uganda years ago, he said that was the jewel of Africa. It had everything. And that was my vision,” he said. “It was feeling as if I’m in this lush place that had no means to get out the cucumbers and the potatoes. It had no means to really market the beautiful flowers to the world, that had no leadership, hadn’t followed through to be able to take advantage of their assets and yet keep them still at home. Anton is really complicated, yet he knows he has to rule with an iron fist and put down the revolutionaries to be able to start the process of healing to begin with.”
For more on Far Cry 6, we also spoke to narrative director Navid Khavari, who told us why the game has made a return to a tropical setting for the first time since Far Cry 3.
Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s Senior News Editor and host of Podcast Beyond! Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.